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Longboat Key Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012 5 years ago

Colony Association preps for next meeting

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

To view this story in a pdf form, which includes additional graphics, click here.

Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association President Jay Yablon said the next time Association members and development team officials come before the Longboat Key Town Commission later this month, they’ll be prepared to answer development questions.

Last week, the Longboat Key Town Commission postponed a decision to extend the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association Dec. 31 deadline for re-opening the resort. Commissioners expressed concern with the proposed rehabilitation of the existing units and an 18-month timeline, which they felt was not feasible.

Through a nonbinding memorandum, longtime unit owner Andy Adams’ Breakpointe LLC and Naples-based Coral Hospitality LLC were chosen to conduct a $40 million renovation/rehabilitation of existing units.

But, neither Adams nor representatives from Coral Hospitality made appearances at the regular meeting last week — and it didn’t go unnoticed by commissioners, who, instead, asked development questions to Colony owner and board member Gregory Russovich and others.

At the Sept. 4 commission meeting, after they reviewed a series of pictures that revealed a property with second-story balconies ready to crumble and pilings damaged beyond repair, commissioners seemed shocked that Colony officials believe a $40 million rehabilitation of the existing units can be accomplished.

Mayor Jim Brown said the association would be “throwing money away” if it attempted to renovate the existing units.

“I can’t believe that anyone who understands the hotel business would keep these buildings,” Brown said last week at the meeting.

Yablon told the Longboat Observer he understands the commission is frustrated and hopes to have the proper people come before them at a 9 a.m. Sept. 24 meeting to further discuss the extension.

Although Yablon wouldn’t confirm if one of those people would be Adams, it’s expected that Adams, or a representative of Breakpointe LLC, will attend the meeting. Yablon told commissioners one of the reasons the development team, chosen recently, has now shifted to a renovation of the property is because it would have been difficult to get 75% of the votes needed by unit owners to approve a teardown and rebuild of the project.

A rehab of the property allows for a lower majority vote threshold of 50%, which Yablon said was more attainable, especially when considering that Adams now owns 47 of the 232 Colony units that are under control of the association.

Adams controls 20% of the votes going forward because of the number of units he owns.

Aquarius makes Colony extension recommendations
The Aquarius Club Board of Directors sent a letter to the Longboat Key Town Commission Thursday, Sept. 6, explaining it still hopes commissioners will turn down a request by the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association for an extension of the re-opening of the resort.

“Our position that you reject the extension request remains firmly intact,” the letter states. “How can any commissioner believe this association is capable of delivering a rehabbed, world-class resort after the past two performances (of this association) before the commission? Enough is enough. Reject the extension.”

If the commission does allow an extension, the Aquarius offers the following contingencies:
• Secure the buildings to deter vagrancy;
• Hire a landscaper to spruce up the property;
• Hire a pest-and-vermin contractor;
• Hire a private security patrol contractor;
• Produce a viable site plan to the town in six months;
• Provide quarterly update reports to commissioners; 
• All interested parties need to make a public progress report in person to the commission every six months.

The commission will discuss the Colony’s extension request again at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.

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